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flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)

  1. Deezel177
    My friend lent me his AirPods and they were surprisingly great! They were balanced and fun-sounding all around. ‘Definitely wouldn’t have any shame rocking them out and about. :p

    Booyah! :D ‘Glad you’re enjoying them, David. It’s energetic for sure, but a refined and unique interpretation of it that I personally think is wonderful. ‘Can’t wait to hear what you think of it with your other IEMs as well. :)
    davidmolliere likes this.
  2. davidmolliere
    Totally agree!

    I have posted some impressions on the EM10, Fusion and Rah thread so far but I still need to do the EM64 pairing but I suspect it will be also great synergy. I still have to find a "bad" pairing really a fantastic cable and value for money is sky high... I am curious as to why PW didn't reveal the cable material, SPC, pure silver? Then why the secret... which makes me wonder... Palladium plated copper?

    Ah and now I wonder how the 8 wire sounds... but next cable for me is the Aegis in that form so...

    You mean AirPods Pro?
    Yeah I rock them since I got them they're much more balanced than my now former Sony WF1000M3... they're natural sounding and so relaxing... the soundstage is great and the form factor is better than any other BT IEM although the proprietary tips is a concept I don't like.

    Only thing people could lack is impact, semi open design has advantages and disadvantages...

    I'll actually review them :p
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    Deezel177 and Aslshark like this.
  3. thesheik137
    Oh no not another TWS thread :p
  4. pithyginger63
    Damn you guys for putting Plunge audio on my map. Custom tuning? Goddammit I need
    Layman1 and arijitroy2 like this.
  5. toranku
    do it
  6. tim0chan
  7. Mimouille
    Another round of trials much shorter, but useful, to me. Allowed me to eliminate a major contestant.

    Final A8000
    Impressive technically at first hearing, lots of details, great sense of space. But mids are thin, prone to sibilance and a bit metallic. Bass is a bit on the light side and lacks depth. Overall tonality is a bit sharp and unnatural. Interesting iem but not for me.

    Sony IER-Z1R
    This tells me the first I had try at the Sony store was defective. This sounds great. Space, bass, resolution, everything. Such air and openess, never seen that in an IEM. The mids are a bit thin but only slightly so, so I guess this is back on the list. A bit huge though. Still very comfortable but huge.

    Westone W80
    Does nothing wrong. Good technically yet smooth. Truly shines nowhere except in it lack of true weakness. Plus super small, light and comfortable. Perfect if you need one comfortable high level all rounder and like a non aggressive signature.

    Sony M9
    This one is really nice. A bit like the Westone but smoother, a bit warmer, with better imaging and a nicer tone. This could be on my list but I am getting a Tralucent plus 5.2 which should fill the "smooth" spot. IMG_20200115_115859.jpg IMG_20200115_114348.jpg IMG_20200115_121129.jpg
    ranfan, Layman1, Deezel177 and 7 others like this.
  8. EagleWings
    ranfan, Layman1, Deezel177 and 6 others like this.
  9. buonassi
    Frontal/depth localization is a phenomenon that can happen with headphones or IEMs when the transducers are tightly matched, have a fast impulse response, and the FR is spot on to your HRTF. It's very rare that this happens to me on its own, but I can generally EQ for equal loudness and get close to my HRTF - which does allow for greater stage depth perception.

    Another thing that can cause this is recording on a binaural microphone that introduces very small inter-aural delays that give depth perception as well. Currawong did have some special microphones lent to him (he mentioned in a previous review), but I don't think they were binaural.
    pithyginger63 and davidmolliere like this.
  10. papa_mia
    EagleWings: "Do I need another DD? How tell wife now?"
    Impressions from Dan and Mim: *Exists*

  11. ayang02
    The Simphonio VR1 seems to be a single DD IEM that people are really impressed with in recent months, based on various impressions.

    Anyone here besides Mim has auditioned it?
    pithyginger63 likes this.
  12. proedros
    for people interested in U/A18 , i would also see if there are any Massdrop Zeus lying around here FS

    i mean why pay 3000$ when you can get something as good for 1/4 of the price ?

    At least , this is what Nick thought back when he did the shootout....

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
    davidmolliere likes this.
  13. Mimouille
    There's still the Luna...TBC
  14. Deezel177
    The price would point more towards SPC than any sort of palladium mix, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Peter Wong had some bespoke concoction in there as well. I remember the Saladin having mixes of copper and silver even within the Litz bundles. :D

    ...and the FAudio Major. :wink:

    Oh, before anyone asks, I did get to try the Minor in Japan as well. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly as impressive as its bigger brother, and I put it down within the first 30 seconds. Nothing really grabbed me technically, and it wasn’t as balanced tonally as the Major was.
    Wyville and bden59 like this.
  15. Wyville
    I assume that the price on the website is not in US$, is it?

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